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GAME OVER

Bowing to pressure from the NFL, ESPN has sacked its controversial pigskin drama Playmakers. "We have decided that Playmakers will not resume production," said ESPN exec vice president Mark Shapiro. "Many considerations went into to this decision, not the least of which was the reaction from [the NFL]." The NFL complained that the series — which featured story lines built around drugs, spousal abuse and homosexuality (oh my!) — was too harsh in its depiction of pro football's dark side. "This decision is censorship, pure and simple," exec producer John Eisendrath tells Variety. "The NFL didn't like the show so it told ESPN to take it off the air, and ESPN dutifully took it off the air."

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Bowing to pressure from the NFL, ESPN has sacked its controversial pigskin drama Playmakers. "We have decided that Playmakers will not resume production," said ESPN exec vice president Mark Shapiro. "Many considerations went into to this decision, not the least of which was the reaction from [the NFL]." The NFL complained that the series — which featured story lines built around drugs, spousal abuse and homosexuality (oh my!) — was too harsh in its depiction of pro football's dark side. "This decision is censorship, pure and simple," exec producer John Eisendrath tells Variety. "The NFL didn't like the show so it told ESPN to take it off the air, and ESPN dutifully took it off the air."